While there’s no ‘right’ way to write a book, there are a lot of tools you can use to help you make it as comprehensive and cohesive as possible. Let’s take a look at a popular technique called mind mapping.
What is a mind map?
Mind maps have been used, not only to write books, but also to create business plans, speeches, problem solving, and more. A mind map is a literal map of ideas. It takes one idea and uses that idea to branch off to the next. This process is repeated until there is a visual path from one idea to the next, and the next, and so on.
Why use a mind map?
Have you ever felt like you have a great idea for a story or book, but because you have so much to say and so many things you want to convey, it all gets jumbled up and lost in the process of trying to write it down? This is where a mind map comes in.
A mind map can help you get the information out and on paper (or your computer) very rapidly. It helps you capture the core of your ideas, and where they lead, before you lose the thread. It can also help you organize your thoughts in a way that can easily be turned into an outline for your book.
How to create a mind map
You can create a mind map in just a few easy steps.
- Start with your central idea. If you’re writing a non-fiction book, this will probably be your title. Write it down in the center of your paper and draw a circle around it.
- Begin listing sub-topics around your main topic and circle each. Draw a line from the central idea to each sub-topic.
- Begin listing related ideas and concepts below each sub-topic until your map is full and all ideas have been captured.
Using your mind map to write your book
As you are filling out your mind map, you will begin to see how this information can be ported directly into an outline for your book. The central idea is your title. Each sub-topic can be a chapter. Every concept related to your subtopic can be a section of that chapter.
From here, it’s just a matter of fleshing out each section until you have everything you want to say about each concept written down. At this point, you will have your first draft. Congratulations!
There are many ways to write a book but if you’re having a hard time getting your ideas on paper, mind mapping is an excellent way to get over the hump. Don’t be afraid to break out the pen and paper and give it a try.